Sunday, December 10, 2017
By Maj. GEN. MARK E. BARTMAN
The National Guard’s heritage dates back 381 years ago to the 13 original colonies when the Massachusetts Bay Colony militia was organized on Dec. 13, 1636. This makes the National Guard the oldest component of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Throughout our history the men and women of the Ohio National Guard have been a trusted, reliable team that is “Always Ready, Always There.”
In times of natural disasters, the Ohio National Guard is typically the first military responder. There are many examples of this through the decades. Most recently, more than 400 Ohio National Guard members deployed to assist residents in Texas, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico after devastating hurricanes. Among the assistance ably provided by your Ohio National Guard was medical aid, transportation, mobile kitchens and water purification.
There are more than 16,000 Ohio National Guard members, and they live and work in nearly every county. We could be your coworker, the dentist examining your sore tooth or the police officer who helped you change a flat tire.
When we’re wearing the military uniform, we could be the F-16 fighter pilot guarding the sky, the engineer helping a city tear down a condemned house or the medic giving an immunization shot at a free medical clinic.
As an operational reserve to the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, the Ohio National Guard fights the nation’s wars alongside our active-duty counterparts throughout the world. In the past year, airmen and soldiers were deployed on a continuous basis in roles such as peacekeeping and humanitarian support. Since 9/11, the Ohio National Guard has mobilized more than 25,000 members worldwide.
Today, we must be prepared for a new and challenging security environment. The battlefield has changed and the enemy is no longer easy to identify. With destructive cyberattacks becoming commonplace, the Ohio National Guard is preparing today’s citizen-soldiers and -airmen with innovative training, supporting partners with critical infrastructure and vulnerability assessments, and teaming with the Indiana and Michigan National Guards to operate a Cyber Protection Team.
For centuries, your National Guard has seized opportunities to innovate and adapt to changing times – ensuring our nation had forces able to excel on the battlefield and support those in need after disaster struck at home. While much has changed since the beginnings of the National Guard during the 17th century, your Ohio National Guard remains a proven and trusted force that is accessible and adaptable
Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman is the Ohio adjutant general. He is a member of the governor’s cabinet and is responsible for the command of the Ohio National Guard and the military readiness of the Ohio Militia. The Ohio National Guard consists of the Ohio Army National Guard, Ohio Air National Guard, Ohio Military Reserve and Ohio Naval Militia.